Afraid to Fly? Five Life Hacks for the Fearful Flyer

  • June 26, 2018
Tips for Fearful Flyers
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Confession time: I have a fear of flying.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of flying. First of all, I have no control over the plane. I don’t know the pilots. And, I’m afraid of heights. Not a great combo for someone who always finds themselves in the sky. Don’t get me wrong, flying is a privilege. I once had a friend who had never flown in his entire life, until he was twenty-six years old. Not everyone has the opportunity to fly to new places and see new sights. So I say to myself, count yourself blessed, girl. 

These are just a few ideas to keep you sane during your flight to wherever—and remember, it’s safer to fly than it is to drive a car. Think about it. 

Safe travels, all! 


Netflix & Fly?

Did you know that if you’re a Netflix subscriber, you can download movies and TV shows to watch offline?

This has been a game changer for me, folks! You mean I can just watch entire seasons of The Office while I trek across the country and/or globe?

Yes, dear one. Yes you can.

Open the Netflix app on your smartphone, go to the ‘Downloads’ tab at the bottom of the screen and click ‘FIND SOMETHING TO DOWNLOAD”.

Yup, it’s that easy.

Do you have a fear of flying? Check out these 5 life hacks for the fearful flyer!

In addition to having some movies or TV episodes on deck via purchases or using a laptop, if you’re a Netflix-er, this could be an amazing way to soothe your plane anxiety. It definitely works for me when I need a little distraction from the turbulence. Here are some of my top suggestions: 

The Office

Nailed It

Once Upon a Time

Gilmore Girls

Being Mary Jane

Dear White People

Do you have a fear of flying? Check out these 5 life hacks for the fearful flyer!

Books, Magazines…Research Articles, oh my.

Whatever tickles your fancy, make sure to pack some good reading material when you’re traveling long or—let’s be real—even short distances as a fearful flyer. Reading is a great escape from the world around you, and will be a good distraction for at least an hour of your plane ride. Pick something up that’s going to engross you in the story, or news articles. This way, your mind is pre-occupied with what that notable interviewee said, rather than is the engine supposed to sound like that?

Trust me, reading does wonders. And hey, look–more suggestions for you:


The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter-And How to Make the Most of Them Now


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be


The Handmaid’s Tale

Pack ONLY what you NEED.

It’s stressful enough getting to the airport on time—especially if you’re using a ride-share app like Uber or Lyft—so why add on to that stress by overpacking? Especially if the trip is a quick, weekend getaway. If you’re planning a three-week trek across Europe, you’ll obviously need to pack a wee bit more—or not. Hey, it’s your life.

I’ve already mentioned a list of essentials to pack in order to vacation like a (somewhat) boss, but here’s a quick refresher:

Clothing
Undies
2-3 pairs of pants (1 or 2 pairs of shorts, if the weather’s warm)
3-4 tops (pack at least O N E dressy top, trust me!)
1 pair of good walking/running shoes
1 pair of sandals

Toiletries
Toothbrush/toothpaste
Deodorant (please, for the love of—)
Lotion (remember, less than 3 oz.)
Makeup remover/baby wipes

Electronics
Phone charger
Ear phones

Do you have a fear of flying? Check out these 5 life hacks for the fearful flyer!

Get to the airport at least an hour before boarding

This little piece of advice is key in keeping your stress level low and manageable. Get there on time by planning in advance how and when you’ll get there. For me, I use Lyft for when there’s no one who’s able to take me to the airport on a certain day, or at an ungodly hour (like 3AM, say whaaa?). 

Pack your favorite snack(s)

Because I used to get so nervous before a trip, I would lose all appetite when I flew. That’s fine if you’re doing a quick hour flight to LA or FL. But what about those cross-country treks? It’s not going to cut it. 

If you bring only one snack on your trip, that’s fine—it’s something to nibble on while you’re traveling and will keep your body fueled even if you’re just sitting on a plane all day. You have to eat, so pack something you like, like a protein bar, some grapes or chocolate—whatever it takes to get you through the trip. 

Oh, and one more thing. 

PACK WATER. Trust me on this one, you’ll thank me later. Stay hydrated no matter where you’re traveling to. It’s dehydrating being on a plane and you’re going to want to stay hydrated. 


For my first-time flyers this summer, I hope this advice helps you feel confident to board that flight you’ve been wanting to take. The fear of flying is actually not completely irrational, but it’s also no excuse for you to miss out on that well-deserved vacation you’ve been pining for. It’s all worth it once you land safely, which you will, and see the sights you’ve been dying to see or hug the people you’ve been so excited to embrace. 

For my fearless flyers–fess up your secret: what helps keep you sane during your flight?

6 Comments
  • JASON

    I’ve been flying for over 11 years. I love it. My first flight was from Atlanta to Las Vegas. I thought that I was going to be nervous. I wasn’t at all. I was hype. Since then I’ve flown at least once a year since then.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      I’ve flown so many times in my life, it’s crazy how nervous I still get sometimes before and during my flight! I’m now bicoastal–going to school in the South and having my home-base in California. I guess there’s no room for such fear anymore. Thanks for sharing, Jason!

  • FEHINTOLAOGUNYE

    These are great tips, Leighann. I especially like the Netflix tip. Yasss!!! I never thought about it. I’m really not afraid of flying but I experience ear ache on flight especially take off and landing. It’s serious pain for me.
    Hopefully wearing headphones watching a movie or TV show will take my mind off it.
    Great post!
    xoxo…Fehintola
    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      I hear you, girl! Netflix has been a life saver. I also find that listening to music before take off and before landing really calms my nerves. Maybe try that too! But use calming music only, it helps take the edge off. Thanks so much for reading, sis!

  • Kamryn

    This post was needed for me! I am so nervous about flying. My first flight will actually be to Rome. It’s going to be a longggg flight, but these tips are so helpful. Hopefully, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy myself.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Kamryn, you are going to have the best time in Rome! Omygoodness–yes to living your best life, girl. Try Netflix for a few hours then switch to reading–it helps me pass the time. And try a nap (or two!) as well–get that rest in before your exciting adventure! Hope you have the time of your life!

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